Salome’s Dance

Here’s what an expert from LensCulture had to say about my series “Salome’s Dance”:

“Hello Daniel. I chose your portfolio series, “Salome’s Dance” for review because it’s conceptually and visually exciting! Based on what I see, I think you composed your images to create artistic, historically referenced narrative experiences for the viewer. You are obviously attracted to dramatic light. In these photographs the contrast and the darks are very powerful, which can serve to deepen the visual impact of the images. I see that each photo tells a story about expressive emotions evoked by this dancer. 

Though you refer to Salome in the title, these portraits are also very goddess-like in their dynamic motion and appearance. To me, your dark gritty nudes speak about feminine power as it appears in our modern world. 

This mytho-poetic series tells a story of existentiality, about a search for a new world, with new leadership who will take the head of anyone who stands in her way. I see a celebration of feminine strength in many forms, a presentation of mythic dreams within our reality. And, clearly you have found a subject matter that lends itself to that creative goal! You present your subjects and light them in a theatrical way and use the form of the body to challenge the viewer’s perceptions of what “femaleness” and “warriorness” means within the idea feminine power. The result is a collection of creative images that express the enjoyment, passion, and playfulness you brought to their conception and creation.

Every one of the photos seems like a capture of an intimate experience within a larger story of the subject you portray. A sense of the theatrical comes through since all your photos seem like still-frame photos taken from larger stories (even beyond the story of Salome). The photos are conceptually rich and meaningful. They ask the viewer to step into the story and enjoy the performance, to receive in the blessings and power of the Goddesses within the frame!

One of the first things I see beyond the imagery is the overall visual presentation that is a thread that runs throughout the group of images. The images are presented in a way in which it appears the viewer is looking at scene, lit theatrically, as if upon a stage. The photos are full of color, luminous, and highly detailed, making them appear as though the images were captured from dreams or visions. The character exudes with emotional expression and drama! 

An interesting quality of your work is how it crosses the lines between fine art, narrative, visual poetry, and portraiture. Your images strike me as illustrating a lot of ideas having to do with issues of identity, the human experience and the expression of that experience. I see the photos as studies of alluring stories of the female body and mind. For example, in the first photo the Goddess portrayed is almost like a superhero, as she looks powerfully into the viewer’s eyes. It is fierce and confident, telling the viewer to approach with caution.

The photos seem posed and directed yet completely candid and natural. The lighting, expressiveness, and performances in the photos add a sense of dream-like environments and emotional depth. Together, the lights, dark shadows, and rich, earthy colors serve to elicit dramatic emotional responses in the viewers. For me, the images are powerful in a group, but they are also beautiful as individual photos.

One of the things that speak to your viewers, throughout your portfolio, is the way that design and composition become primary subjects within the frame. For example, all your images are visually dynamic and could also be viewed in terms of photographic design. Your cropping, editing, and positioning of subjects in the frame is very purposeful. The position of the subject in the frame creates tension. And within the design the subject is performing her roles. It is clear the divine persona you capture in the photos a very important character in your stories! 

In your compositions you isolate the subjects within their surroundings and it places importance on the photographic frame. Without those boundary elements the composition could not be contained or defined. Part of the magic of these images is what you have chosen to include in the frame and all the elements in the surrounding environment you deliberately leave out. Everything in the design of these images seems deliberate.

I can imagine these photos printed large, to inspire feelings of awe by creating a sense of scale for the viewer. Large-scale presentation could prompt the viewer to feel small when confronted by the ideas of standing in front of these mysterious, imaginary scenes. Viewers would feel confronted with unexpected perspectives and that could inspire creative interpretations about this mythical figure.

Your images are very dynamic. They are full of observations and questions about life, transformation, and the power of women! Your images prove that being creative with your images is very exciting and who knows where it will lead. I think that your images would do well in an “art” environment. Your photos really do cross a lot of boundaries, which is highly encouraged in the art world.

Your images and your project are very expressive and beautiful. They are full of creative, powerful and mysterious narratives! I would strongly encourage you to keep pursuing your ideas. It seems like you take a lot of inspiration from movies, stories, and artists you love. Renaissance paintings seem like a good source for inspiration. I very much enjoyed looking at your photos and I appreciate the way your images are masterfully considered and carefully designed. I look forward to seeing what you will do next!”

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